Today we continue our new series, “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” If we are going to make progress in 2021, we must be intentional. I am calling this “Progress on purpose.” God is saying, “New Levels” are available for us. But if we don’t pursue divine progress ON PURPOSE, we can surely miss out on what God is declaring for this season.
With that in mind, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
I told you that for area #1, we would take about recommitting ourselves spiritually in three areas:
1. The Word of God
2. The Holy Spirit (hearing from God)
We covered the first two last week. Today we will start looking at prayer. If we are going to LEVEL UP, we must LEVEL UP our prayer life. I will lay a foundation for understanding the importance of prayer today.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Praying can make “THE DIFFERENCE” in your life.
When I first gave my life to Christ, over 25 years ago, I memorized a poem by Alan Grant. It is aptly entitled, “The Difference.” It speaks to the importance of prayer. I have gone back to this poem, in my mind, many times over the years. Here it is:
I got up one morning,
And I rushed right into the day,
I had so much to accomplish,
That I did not have time to pray.
As the day went on,
Heavier came each task,
I said, “Lord, why don’t you help me?”
He said, “Child, you didn’t ask.”
Hour upon hour,
The day toiled on gray and bleak,
I said, “Lord Jesus, where are you?”
He said, “Son, you didn’t seek.”
Finally, I tried to come into God’s presence,
I used all my keys at the lock,
I said, “Lord, why don’t you let me in?’
He said, “Child, you didn’t knock.”
So I got up this morning,
And I paused before entering the day,
Because I had so much to accomplish,
That I HAD to take time to PRAY!
Whenever I quote that poem, I normally follow it with this line: “You can either allow your day to order your prayer or allow your prayer to order your day.”
2. To understand prayer you must understand the system God set up and how important the authority of humans is.
(Gen 1:26 NIV)
Then God (Elohim, the Creator God) said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
The words I will focus on are: “Let them rule.” This is where God established the relationship between Himself (in heaven) and man (in the earth). God placed man (humankind) on the earth to dominate and rule it. Let’s ‘pull the string’ on this point a little:
a) God gave man (humankind) the legal right and authority to operate on the earth.
b) At that moment, man (male and female) became the legal steward of the earth domain.
c) Man (male and female) is a spirit, he/she possesses a soul, and he/she lives within a physical body (while on this planet). Man’s (male and female) physical body is his/her connection to the earth realm.
d) God is so committed to the system He created that when He wanted to operate freely in the earth, He submitted Himself to His own law and He came as a man. God, who is a Spirit, came to the earth and lived within a physical body.
e) Both God and satan actively seek the agreement and cooperation of humans to operate on the earth.
f) Demonic spirits external to physical bodies don’t have the legal right to operate in the earth domain. This is why satan and his demons actively seek to possess humans. Many have consciously or subconsciously welcomed evil spirits to possess their bodies. God, on the other hand, freely offers to live inside every human who accepts Jesus as Lord. When we are Born-Again God’s precious Holy Spirit takes up residence in us.
I know this may seem like a lot to digest, but I am attempting to lay the foundation for this week. You may be thinking, “Now Rick, what does this have to do with prayer?” Actually, quite a bit. When you understand the legal right you have as a human on the earth, coupled with the awesome ability to be influenced by the Holy Spirit Himself (who is living IN you as a believer), you can then tap into the power of prayer.
— When you understand prayer and how God wants to use prayer as His point-of-agreement to influence the earth, you WANT to pray, because you understand that as much as you need God, He also needs You.
— The Father is looking for people on the earth to pray, to agree with His will, for His plans to manifest in the earth realm.
— Of course, God can work without us. I will never say God can’t do whatever He wants to do without prayer, but from what we can see in scripture, it seems as though God chooses to perform His will with the cooperation of humans. This is a major aspect of prayer.
— John Wesley said, “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.”
So you have to ask yourself:
— Am I praying as I should?
— Have I involved God in my life through prayer?
— As I expect to LEVEL UP in 2021, am I ready to LEVEL UP my prayer life?
3. What is prayer? How do we define it?
a) Prayer is agreeing with God’s plans and purposes in faith, knowing He prepared them by grace, fully believing He will bring to pass what He planned.
b) Prayer is how the earth agrees with heaven.
c) Prayer is an earthly license for heavenly interference.
d) Prayer is what happens when man (male and female) exercises his legal authority on the earth to invoke heaven’s influence on the planet.
e) Prayer is what happens when the creation gets the Creator involved in any given situation.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of the importance of prayer.
4. To understand prayer you must understand the fact that God already knows what we need, but He requires us to ask and to ask in accordance with His will.
a) In most cases, God will not move in our lives until we initiate contact between our world and His. That initiation is activated through the vehicle of prayer.
James said, “You have not, because you ask not.” (James 4:2). Jesus said, “The Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (Matthew 6:8). After making this statement, Jesus went on to teach the disciples how to pray. He was basically saying, “The Father knows what you need before you ask, but He still requires you to ask.” Why? Because He wants His performance in your life to be an act of your will and not just His.
b) The sovereignty of God is not an excuse for NOT praying!
Some people think that since God is sovereign, they don’t need to pray. They think, “God knows everything, He already made plans, and He is going to do whatever He wants to do. There is no need for me to pray.” People who think this way don’t understand the system God created. Remember, God placed man (humans) in charge of this planet.
— God is so committed to this system that He seeks the cooperation of humans. For God to fully operate in your life, He is looking for you to cooperate with Him. Because He wants His involvement in your life to be an act of YOUR will and not just His.
— You are not a puppet and He is not a puppet master. He is your God and He wants you to WANT Him! This is what prayer is about.
I could keep going, but that is enough for today.
Once again, if you want to make PROGRESS in 2021, you must be committed to LEVELING UP your prayer life!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for extending Your amazing grace to me. You love me with an everlasting love, and You loved me enough to make plans for me before the world began. You now expect me to die to self to the point where I come in alignment with those plans. Prayer is a major part of that alignment. I have both a right and a responsibility to pray. Jesus gave me the right to come boldly before Your throne in order to receive the grace to help in the time of need. I appreciate that right and I don’t take it lightly. I also have a responsibility to pray — not only for me and my household, but for every situation the Holy Spirit leads me to pray about. Through prayer, I access heaven. Through prayer, I come in alignment with Your will. Through prayer, I set my faith in agreement with Your Kingdom plans and purposes. Through prayer, I agree that Your Kingdom has come and Your will shall be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. So I pray daily and throughout each day. I pray in faith, knowing that my faith accesses Your grace. And in this season of NEW LEVELS, I am committed to LEVELING UP my prayer life. As I do, I know GREATER IS COMING for me. I make progress on purpose and I boldly declare that 2021 shall be the best year of my life! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!